Born in Chicago, James Sedare, studied in St Louis with the Polish conductor Jerzy Semkow and the late Walter Süsskind. In 1979 he was appointed Associate Conductor and later Music Advisor of the San Antonio Symphony. He joined the Phoenix Symphony as Resident Conductor in 1986 and three years later became its Music Director. In this latter position, he has made a distinguished name for himself as one of the most outstanding of a new generation of American conductors. He has enjoyed equal acclaim as a guest conductor in the United States and abroad, the latter engagements including appearances with major orchestras in Europe, in Central and Southern America and in New Zealand. His recordings include Grammy-nominated releases with the London Symphony Orchestra and with the Louisville Orchestra, and a series of some fifteen recordings with the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. With the Phoenix Symphony he has won particular success in the recording studio, with acclaimed award-winning releases, in particular, of works by leading American composers.